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LIVE REVIEWS

NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon

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NYC Winter Jazzfest The Friday Marathon New York, NY January 12, 2018 As the setting sun ushered in the first of two NYC Winter Jazzfest marathon nights on Friday, January 12, the only thing that seemed to be missing was winter itself. After coping with a deep freeze for weeks, encountering an extreme thaw with the mercury making it into the fifties was somewhat shocking for those out and about for this annual event. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thomas Stronen: Lucas

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With a minimalist sense of minutes moving--elegantly, stubbornly, inexplicably--veteran drummer/percussionist/composer Thomas Stronen's music mutates from chamber abstractions to dream orchestrations on Lucus, his second outing on ECM.Space, and the shadows it reveals and then envelopes, is the driving force behind Lucus and, indeed, the players in Time Is a Blind Gate, the name given to Stronen's almost otherworldly quintet of collaborators. Pianist Ayumi Tanaka and violinist Hakon Aase are the primary soloists giving voice and flight to the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Nels and Alex Cline at The Jazz Bakery

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Nels Cline / Alex Cline Jazz Bakery (Moss Theater) Santa Monica, CA January 13, 2018 Nine years ago, Nels Cline and Alex Cline played live as a duo for only the third time ever. On January 13, just nine days after their collective 62nd birthday, they made it the fourth. The brothers Cline performed together at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica, near where they grew up. The event was partly instigated ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wes Montgomery: In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording

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Zev Feldman has called Resonance Records, “The house Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery built." That may be hyperbolic, but the label has liberated from obscurity many previously unreleased or rarely heard performances by the two artists. Regarding Montgomery, Resonance has released four Montgomery recordings to date: Echoes of Indiana Avenue (Resonance, 2012); In The Beginning (Resonance, 2015); One Night in Indy (Resonance, 2016); and Smokin' in Seattle: Live At the Penthouse 1966 (Resonance, 2017). The label now adds a diamond ...

LIVE REVIEWS

David Lyttle & Andreas Varady at Bennigans Jazz Club

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David Lyttle & Andreas Varady Bennigans Jazz Bar Derry, N. Ireland January 14, 2018 There was an air of expectation around the duo gig of David Lyttle and Andreas Varady -two of the finest exponents of their respective instruments in contemporary jazz. Not surprisingly, Bennigans Jazz Club--a wonderfully intimate setting--was packed to capacity. This is a new project from Irish drummer Lyttle and Slovakian guitarist Varady, having first collaborated together on Questions (Lyte Records, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sylvie Courvoisier: D'Agala

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If you have a pigeonhole into which you would like to place pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's music, maybe stop reading right now. The Swiss-born, now twenty-year native of New York, apportions her many talents to multiple ensembles and musical styles--solo to large ensemble, chamber works, Downtown jazz, flamenco, European classical and improvisation. Needless to say, stagnant is an adjective that could never be applied to her music. D'Agala is her 11th release on Intakt and the second trio recording ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Not Bound

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On Not Bound, pianist extraordinaire Matthew Shipp and his top-drawer rhythm section of Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums is joined by multi-instrumentalist Steve Carter in an exceptional tour de force of spontaneous music within a compositional framework. Each of the five tracks offers unique and exciting lyricism. “Soul Secrets" begins with a cool piano and flute intro that leads to a rumble. Bisio is quite active on the bass, even under the unhurried opening ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest

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Ornette Coleman once said that sound has no parents. But that doesn't mean we can't be its children. On that point, jazz has always been something of a parental force, connecting progenies of representation across geographic and cultural borders. Its relationship to struggle has, however, at times been overshadowed by debate. On the one hand, jazz is a space in which divisions melt away in the interest of collective expression. On the other, such idealism risks ignoring the blood of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kjetil Mulelid Trio: Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House

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Norwegian pianist/composer Kjetil Mulelid leads his young trio in a program with a maturity that contradicts their age. Their music is lyrical and exploratory, with a high degree of group interaction, and even a bit of free playing. Opener “Entrance" finds them moving together through the rhythmic waves. “Fly, Fly" begins with Mulelid in a slightly gospel mood, followed by a brief lyrical unaccompanied piano solo which gives way to a rubato feel, so loose that it almost feels free--the ...